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Messages - Schadenfreude

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TalkBack / Re: PODCAST: Radio Free Nintendo: Episode 110
« on: August 10, 2008, 07:50:13 PM »
For some reason the mp3 subscription doesn't work for me (iTunes does). Thanks for getting it done James, been checking all day. Now I have something to listen to while I work out. :D

I hope everyone on the podcast (except Greg) checks out Braid.

General Gaming / Re: Braid (XBLA) - The next Portal?
« on: August 10, 2008, 07:42:50 PM »
Correct me if I'm wrong matt, but to get the puzzle piece in the picture above, you had to have your shadow stand below the drop in the middle of the picture, wait for the enemy to fall on it, then jump off the enemy as it flies through the air to get to the platform above the door. If so, I can't believe I ever thought of it.  :D

General Gaming / Re: Little Big Planet
« on: August 09, 2008, 11:50:49 PM »
Doesn't bother me since I have a PS eye, plus the PS eye has a microphone so you can chat to people Wii Speak style.

Well not all of us do but I am considering picking one up for LBP.

General Gaming / Re: Little Big Planet
« on: August 09, 2008, 10:41:56 PM »
It's a day 1 purchase for me even though I'm rather annoyed you have to use the Playstation Eye to make stickers. =(

General Gaming / Re: Infinite Undiscovery (360)
« on: August 09, 2008, 10:39:20 PM »
I'm rather uncertain about this game. My purchase will be greatly influenced by reviews and impressions.

General Gaming / Re: Braid (XBLA) - The next Portal?
« on: August 08, 2008, 09:06:14 PM »
This game is great, but I do need help to get my last 4 puzzle pieces, and from what I've seen of those last 4 pieces they have solutions that I would never think of trying.

You should really try to solve them yourself, but you can hit me up on AIM (ICallItFutile) or MSN ( for help.

General Gaming / Re: Braid (XBLA) - The next Portal?
« on: August 08, 2008, 03:58:19 PM »
I completed it last last night and it was an delightful experience throughout. The puzzles are very well thought out and I encourage you to continue solving the problems without help. I was able to and it really does make it more enjoyable. I think the difficulty is just right. If I couldn't figure out a puzzle, after solving another one I would come back and would have a break through. I don't know if you've gotten to it yet, but one of my favorite puzzles is the Hunt in World. I won't spoil what happens after you get all the puzzle pieces, but I don't think you'll be disappointed.

Overall a wonderful game that I only wish had been a bit cheaper, but I feel I got my $15 worth.

TalkBack / Re: PODCAST: Radio Free Nintendo: Episode 109
« on: August 05, 2008, 12:23:29 PM »
Okay, who is doing the viral marketing over on NeoGAF?

I said I try to promote the show when I can.

I like having John on the podcast, even though he's the least Nintendo enthusiast. I thought his jokes about breaking blocks in Miami during the 80's were hilarious.

Yeah, but like somebody else's Wario.  It doesn't really matter how good the game is, Wario is a minor character and his games have always been obscure gems, not blockbuster titles.  He isn't even as well-known a character as Kirby and Yoshi.

The biggest WTF for me here is the PSP sales.  Is Monster Hunter Portable 2nd G THAT GOOD?  Hell, I'm a PSP fan, and even I don't know what the Japanese are buying that much PSP hardware for.  It sure isn't big releases.

PSP has some good games but they usually fall under most people's radar. I've heard Monster Hunter games are very good as a portable series; easy to accomplish something in short bursts. I've heard very little about the PS2 games; I guess we'll see how the Wii games turns out...

Reader Reviews / Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2
« on: August 03, 2008, 11:09:20 PM »
        Even if arcades have lost their prominence in the gaming industry, the type of games that helped make them so popular are not fading out. They are finding new homes on handhelds (Space Invaders Extreme) and frequently as downloadable games on consoles. Companies are not only porting their arcade titles, but creating new iterations as well. Two excellent examples are the highly acclaimed Pac-Man Championship Edition and the upcoming Galaga Legions, both for the Xbox Live Marketplace. While Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved was not a sequel to an iconic arcade classic, it shared many elements that made those games so addictive decades ago (and now): simplicity, quick rewarding game sessions and the desire to improve one's high score. While the first two are important, it's the later that really drives individuals to continuing playing; not just to improve their high score either, but to surpass the high scores of others. Game developers decades ago realized for their games that were limited by technology to have more replay value, they needed to have an incentive for players to revisit it; scoring the player based on performance was that incentive. As someone who's too young to have experienced the heyday of arcades, the competitive nature of high scores has been a fun new challenge in the now heavily emphasized online console era.

   The game play in Retro Evolved was fairly simple: the left analog stick moved the ship, the right stick directed the path of the bullets (or lasers) and the triggers deployed bombs that destroyed everything on screen. The objective was to continue shooting enemies without getting hit. What makes Geometry Wars stand out amongst the other dual stick shooters is the pure chaos that goes on screen. There is very little time to think and plan as enemies continue to flood the screen, many of them charging right at the ship. I've experienced many many moments where it appeared to be hopeless to survive only to miraculously pull through, sometimes with a new high score.

   The core gameplay hasn't changed since Retro Evolved, but there have been altercations that have impacted the gameplay. Geometry Wars: Galaxies for Nintendo Wii and Nintendo DS brought in a new feature that continues in this game: geoms. Geoms are small yellow objects that appear after destroying an enemy. In Galaxies, the player collected the geoms to increase their multiplier, unlike Retro Evolved where the multiplier would increase slowly as the killing streak continued. The geoms were also used to unlock new worlds and maps to play on, as well as to increase the power of the drone ships, each having its own function. Geoms are used exclusively to increase the multiplier in Retro Evolved 2 and unlike Galaxies, there is no cap to how large the multiplier can be. Another change is the ship's weapon no longer upgrades as the score increases (except in multiplayer) which could be seen as compensation for the lack of a multiplier cap. These modifications have made Retro Evolved 2 more difficult then it's predecessor and Galaxies, but amends it by inflating the score.

   The only mode initially available is Deadline, which is essentially a time attack Retro Evolved where there is no game over from lives lost. The other modes are unlocked by playing the last mode mode unlocked until the combined scores of every session reaches a certain number; a progress percentage bar is shown on the next mode to unlock. I have mixed feelings about this decision. My hypothesis is because Deadline does not penalize the player, the mode is more approachable for new players while still giving hardcore Geometry Wars players something to accomplish. If that is the case, I can't understand why they chose King to be the next available mode. In King, the ship can only shoot inside blue circles that shrink a few seconds after entering and enemies are able to accelerate the process by pushing against the edges. It's one of the hardest modes in the game, closely tied with Waves. The mode afterwards, Evolved, is just Retro Evolved with the gameplay changes mentioned earlier, plus new enemies. Evolved may have been a better choice for the next attainable mode, but my guess is they wanted to show the more unfamiliar King first. While it's clear this was implemented to force players to try all (except Sequence) the modes, I would have preferred having them entirely unlocked from the start. Nevertheless, it takes very little time to unlock everything.

   The other modes in the game include Pacifism, which when I first heard about I was worried it would be more or less like the achievement in Retro Evolved; I was glad to see it wasn't that simple. In Pacifism shooting is disabled and in order to destroy enemies, the ship has to pass through white gates. The tricky part of this mode is that the gates move around haphazardly and the two ends of it destroy the ship on impact. The creators showed mercy by having the only enemy be the white triangles that follow the ship. In the mode Waves, lines of enemy ships appear that stretch across half or the entire map and move either horizontally or vertically. While there are other enemies as well, the lines of ships are the big concern, as more and more are added on. I find Waves to be the most disorienting of the modes. While the idea of Waves was first introduced in Project Gotham Racing 4, since it is not a part of the main Geometry Wars franchise, I feel it is an acceptable overlap. The last mode, Sequence, is divided up into levels where the player has a limited amount of time to destroy all the enemies. The enemies at each level are always the same and if the player dies, they are moved onto the next one. Sequence reminds me of the arena levels in the Ratchet & Clank games, but much more intense.

   I consider Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2's biggest strength to be the variation of the modes. Each one keeps intact the core gameplay of Geometry Wars while varying the strategy needed in order to succeed. King and Pacifism do this by removing or limiting a mechanic of Geometry Wars: moving and shooting plus the absence of bombs and the reduction of lives. Deadline's time limit promotes speed over strategy; Waves forces the player's to dart their eyes across the screen as they try to avoiding being hit by the lines of enemies; and Sequence challenges them to figure out the most effective and efficient method of clearing a level, including when to use their bombs (unlike Retro Evolved where they were used to get out of a tight situation). Because geoms motivate the player not to restart, this even differentiates Evolved enough from Retro Evolved. It could have easily not been included in the game, but for this reason I'm glad they did. I can't say for certain which mode is my favorite, but I hold Waves and Sequence above the rest.

   The graphics are a noticeable improvement over Retro Evolved, which was already a pretty game. The enemies are brighter, more detailed and the particle effects are flashier then before. The only downside is that like with Retro Evolved, it can sometimes be difficult to locate the ship on screen among all the madness. From what I've played of Galaxies the problem had been lessened but it is only worse in Retro Evolved 2 because of how much color there is on screen. However, I found that after a few hours of play time my eyes had adjusted and I had relearned how to located my ship on screen. The music has also been upgraded, sounding much more like techno music then video game music. Although it was a minor edition, I also like how the music alters when the ship is destroyed.

   One thing that surprises me about the game are the achievements. Retro Evolved's achievements consisted for the greater part of getting a certain score or getting that score without dying. Retro Evolved 2's achievements add tests to an already challenging game. Most of the tests are not very difficult; I have twice as many points as I did in Retro Evolved. Don't believe the game is an easy 200 achievement points as there are still very troublesome ones such as Wax Off. To unlocked the Wax off achievement, in Pacifism the ship has to touch the entire edges of the map twice. They were kind enough again to indicate the progress on screen for the achievements. For a game thats draw is to improve high score, achievements based on score are not need, especially since the top right hand corner of the screen shows the next highest score above the player's on their friend list. Competing with friends is not needed in order to enjoy this game, but it is an option.

   When I first heard the game did not have online multiplayer I was disappointed. Seeing as I don't have friends over very often to play video games, it was an addition I was very much looking for. I've come to realize as I've played more and more online games that if the game doesn't play almost perfectly online, it's better to drop the feature altogether. Of course you can still have fun with a game that's online performance is mediocre, but with how helter-skelter Geometry Wars games are, nothing less then perfect would have satisfied me. I have not played local multiplayer so I am unable to comment on it, but from I've heard from others, it is quite enjoyable.

   Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2 is another worthy sequel in franchise and is what Pac-Man Championship Edition was to Pac-Man. The game appeals to fans of Geometry Wars, arcade shooters and maybe even more with the additions. While Galaxies main focus was changing where you play, Retro Evolved 2 is about how you play. Both games are different interpretations of Geometry Wars and both appeased my appetite for more. There isn't much overlap between the two games and for this I am delighted. I have yet to even see an enemy introduced in Galaxies return in Retro Evolved 2. At first I missed not having the drone ship, but the feature may have been included to make the game easier for the Wii audience or to help with the control issues of the Wii remote. I see Retro Evolved 2 as the evolutionary step for the series and I would be quite pleased with a Galaxies 2 that included all the new modes plus multiple maps for each one.

TalkBack / Re: PODCAST: Radio Free Nintendo: Episode 109
« on: August 03, 2008, 10:45:00 PM »
I just grabbed Geometry Wars 2 today at Jonny's urging.  I loved the first one, but figured that GW2 would be more of the same (I was wrong).  I'm busily trying to even come close to Jonny's scores - he's really good.

Thanks for the kind words, Schadenfreude.  If you want to post your review, check out the Reader Reviews area of our forums!

I saw the forums, but I was hesitant because I thought they were for Nintendo platforms only.

TalkBack / Re: PODCAST: Radio Free Nintendo: Episode 109
« on: August 03, 2008, 09:58:29 PM »
Really good episode again guys. I'm really impressed with how you have been able to keep these podcasts at such a good length (especially with how few games come out during the summer) without the quality diminishing (okay, so sometimes it drags on). I had no problem with your negativity last episode, but I can understand why others might have. I think you made the right decision by finding something positive with the upcoming WiiWare games.

One reason I made this account was to thank you for answering my question. Your responses were very acute and logical; it was a shame it had to be cut off, but I can understand why you did. I've sent multiple emails to another podcast I listen to and they've never answered one of them while you've replied to both my emails (I sent another in for Episode 100). I've started listening to the podcast since Jonny (or another staff member) posted a topic about Episode 84 on NeoGAF and have tried to promote it on there when I can (made a topic about your E3 podcasts). I didn't think it was possible anyone could make a Nintendo only podcast so interesting each week. They hardly talk about Nintendo games at all on 1up Yours, Giant Bombcast and other podcasts I listen to, so it's nice to know every week I can get my fix somewhere else. I use to listen to IGN's Nintendo podcast, but it's so boring and uninteresting in comparison that I only listen to Radio Free Nintendo now. Matt Casamassina is also an elitist douchebag.

As I've said in my emails, keep up the good work and I'm interested to see what you do this fall with the less then stellar line up. I really hope you focus in on the third party titles especially de Blob, Sonic Unleashed, Dragon Quest IV, Tales of Symphonia 2, Wario Land and Samba. I was happy to hear someone on the podcast likes Sam and Max, since I've been thinking about taking the plunge into the series with the Wii game.

On a side note, I was wondering if anyone one the staff would be willing to read a review I just did for Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved 2; I'm just looking for feedback. It's the first review I've ever written. I don't want to be a video games journalist or anything, I've just always enjoyed writing so I decided recently to start reviewing games for good practice. I know Jonny and Greg both loved Galaxies but any input would be appreciated.

General Gaming / Re: XBox Live Gamertag rollcall
« on: August 03, 2008, 06:53:38 PM »

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